UVM fights tobacco


Hurt by low student turnout and engagement, the smoking ban movement is finally picking up steam.

A summit held recently featured speakers from the University of Michigan, the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University and UVM students, senior Allison Giroux said.

Giroux is neuroscience major, co-chair of the Healthy Students Committee and an active participant in the tobacco- free initiative on-campus.

The UVM tobacco- free initiative is trying to focus on social change, not getting people in trouble.

They aren’t focusing on targeting people or working against smokers specifically, it is simply a health initiative for everyone on-campus, Giroux said.

There was a miscommunication however, and the summit was actually for the state of Vermont initiative and not UVM specifically.

The SGA apologized for this confusion on their Facebook page on the day of the summit.

“We will still be submitting all the UVM Voice posts that we received to the UVM tobacco- free initiative committee,” according to the post on the UVM Student Government Association Facebook page.

This summit was described as a statewide summit on tobacco-free campuses for college and university representatives, health professionals and community advocates, according to the summit brochure.

“As a non-smoker, I feel that the use of tobacco on campus, especially in smoke-free zones, creates a negative atmosphere in our community,” first-year Adam Weinheimer, said.

The initiative is working  with other student groups on campus such as ResLife, Eco-Reps and SGA, and hopes to hold classes on campus to help people quit smoking and provide information on the issue.

The initiative has held open forums that had low student turnouts; however, when they tabled in the Davis Center, Giroux said the vast majority of feedback from students about the initiative was positive.

“I feel like there’s a culture of smoking here and people will continue to smoke regardless of a ban,” sophomore Taylor Ratcliffe said.

For more information about Tobacco-Free UVM, visit the tobacco-free initiative website.